Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wellness 101

Strange things are happening all around us. Glaciers are melting down as worldwide temperatures rise. Sea lions are disappearing from their habitats. Alergies among children are on the rise. Cows are going crazy.

Scientists are working overtime to figure out what is happening but it is not easy to figure these things out. In the meantime what can we do while apocalypse unfolds?

A couple of years ago Morgan Spurlock proved what happens to a person that eats breakfast, lunch and dinner at Ronalds for 30 days. You can see the results in a short clip here. Do a search on Super Size Me. They show the scene on day 21 when he confesses how he feels. This man is a hero.

It cannot get any more graphic than this. If you want proof, there it is.

The solution is easy if you start thinking that it is easy. So the first thing we need to do if we want to feel better is to cut down on the poisons. The main poisons are white food: white bread, sugar, salt, milk, white rice, anything made with refined sugars, flours, etc. You do not have to become a vegetarian, however try to stay away from factory farm produce.

Next you need to do a good clean up. There are many alternatives and a good naturopath or herbalist can guide you to the best alternatives for you. One of the best ways to maintain your organism clean is to eat wholesome brown food, with fiber. Raw veggies also help and there are herbs too. I will get to those later on.

The third step is closely related to the second one. If you choose good quality organic produce you will be eating a very colorful diet. Green, red and yellow vegetables and brown grains with natural anti-oxidants and micronutrients will boost your inmune system. Remember: Stay out of white dead food.

Finally you need to add some high absorption supplements. The best these days are liquid supplements. If you can afford it, go see a good naturopath that can test you and ascertain your needs. You can find a good guide for liquid supplements here.

So that is it, in a nutshell. I will be getting to each of these four steps one at a time.

One more thing I forgot: eliminate soda pop or anything carbonated. Leave that stuff for grand ocassions. Switch to pure water and juices on a daily basis.

Do not despair, it does not have be a boring diet. I will be posting some interesting blogs later on.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Should Cows be Mad?

Steve Poltz from way down under, thinks cows are mad at him. Go listen why. If you watched “The Meatrix” I think you will understand why.

From food gathering to factory farming in 2 million years. That is quite a trip. It seems like humanity is in a quest to degrade the nutritional value of the planet. However regarding Mad Cow Disease, I thought it was a thing of the past. It seems that officials at the USDA think along the same line. A few days ago the USDA reported plans to reduce testing by 90 percent. Why? It’s a mystery.

I keep thinking, if they do not test for a 100% how can anybody be sure he or she will not end up like Steve Poltz? It is just a thought. Maybe I am wrong and should not be concerned at all, because I do not crave burgers anymore. However there are people I am concerned about.

The philosophy that led to Mad Cows, started with improving the yield of the land with all kinds of harmful chemicals. So in countries like mine, where there is very little organic produce at the stores and very little control of how chemicals are used, consumers should be concerned.

A farmer I met in Panama´s highlands, years ago told me to stay away from these products: tomatoes, cabbage and parsley. Why? I asked. His answer: To make it to the supermarket they needed to be loaded with pesticides while they are growing.

So it is not only the cows, chickens, pigs, the veggies too are getting a dose of "more is better" philosophy.

Although it is more important what comes out of our mouths, we should still be concerned about what goes into them. The quality of our lives depends on it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yellow Cheese, Salami, Chef Boyardee and Rice Crispies

One of the first things I learned I could do to take care of myself was to watch what I ate. As a teenager, I was eating the worst types of foods you can find at a supermarket: cold meats loaded with nitrates, like salami, jam and bologna, canned food loaded with all kinds of preservatives, sugar coated cereals with no fiber and to top it all, processed dairy.

Now I can understand what my tonsils where saying. They were saying stop or we will choke you to death. They were giving me good advice which I disregarded until I saw the knife coming.

I was lucky I found a good guide when I decided to save myself. The advice I received from Surfer Magazine was simple. Drop all the canned stuff, stop the processed dairy, and avoid any type of cold meats like salami. If you are going to eat meat, eat real meat, however it is better to drop it too. If you cannot live without it, wean yourself out of it, one week at a time. Decide what is your favorite meat dish and eat it only once a week Follow this regime for a month and then start spacing the “meat day” to every two weeks.

In a month I felt so good that I was able to drop my favorite meat dish: meatballs with tomato sauce. After my tonsils bounced back to normal I realized the connection between food and my health: I am what I eat. So I started buying vegetarian food cookbooks and exploring the world of nutrition.

Eating meat thirty-five years ago probably was not as bad as it is these days. The meat industry was probably not so hormone oriented those days. Maybe they were just starting to experiment. At least no one heard of crazy cows back then. To get the scoop on how bad it is presently, visit “The Meatrix”. Moopheous and his friends will tell you all about the problems with animal factory farming.

Before I get into what is good for you, I want to tell you more about animal and vegetable factory farming. So watch for my next post. If you can’t wait to start taking better care of yourself go to my Wellness Guide at:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Trusting the healer within

Looking back on that decision I now realize that probably my doctor did the best he could with the information he had at hand. Even if he knew that I could be helped by a change of diet, he probably lacked the experience to guide me through the road I took. I am not trying to excuse him, because one thing he could have done was to say he just plain did not know what else to do. However I must add that I probably did not ask what else could be done.

He could have emphasized that cutting my tonsils was just one solution, not “the solution”. He could have added that maybe there were other solutions and that I should explore them before taking a final decision. I see this situation around me many times. The tendency is to make an important decision based on the opinion of just one expert. We forget that an important expert we can consult is our own body. The body knows..... we just are not in the habit of trusting its signals.

So my tonsils were saved from the cutting knife just for two things. By a little voice inside that said, “I do not like this situation” and the fact that I like to read. I read all the time, when I am eating, when I am waiting and while travelling I take a book with me. So I now see that I was consulting other experts at the time my tonsils flared up, namely the guy who wrote that article on healing diets. That prompted me to look for more information.

So all I am saying is - do not trust just one doctor. And also do not put yourself in the hands of just one approach to healing. There are many healing alternatives and there is a reason for that. Above all consult your inner healer, let him have a voice. Get involved in the decision and pit the experts one against the other. Remember that listening to an expert does not mean following his advice, just be open to new information and then take a decision.

To start taking better care of yourself, visit this site:

Friday, July 14, 2006

We have the power to decide

Recently I came across an excellent article by Gail R. Mitchell on self care. She finishes the article with the following lines:

“Our lives are so dear and precious. We can get stuck and distracted all over the place if we get caught in self-inflicted victim hood, putting the power in everyone and everything else but ourselves.”

The thing is, it is so easy to think we are ok that we do not even realize how we play the role of victims. I form part of self-support group that meets every Wednesday. Everyone has an opportunity to express his or her feelings after our group meditation. It is hilarious how almost everyone starts with the phrase- “Oh, I am ok”…. And continues talking and as he goes on everyone realizes that well, maybe our friend is not so ok.

Our levels of denial can be so high that many times it takes a tragic incident to waken us up. Many moons ago, when I was in my late teens, I came up with a case of allergic rhinitis. After going through a battery of standard medical treatments, I just kept getting worse, to the point that the specialist declared that my tonsils where the source of my problems. His recommendation: Lets get rid of them.

So I was scheduled for surgery. Because I had to wait two weeks for the operation room to be available I had time to come across an article in Surfer Magazine that recommended semi-vegetarian diets to heal. As I was not too happy about going into an operation room I decided I would try that. So after reading one article and without consulting anyone else (teenage bravado) I decided I would become a vegetarian.

Of course my mother protested immediately: “Where are you going to get your protein?” I can’t remember what I told her exactly but the bottom line is that I changed my diet completely. Lots of vegetables, no sugar, no salt, no salami or cold cuts, no hotdogs, hamburgers, white bread, no processed cheese, no Chef Boyardee and no SPAM. Oh! and I loved Spam. I still do! However my tonsils were more important and I became a radical in a couple of weeks. I started reading about vegetarian diets and became the family’s rabbit.

In one month my tonsils went back to normal and I was able to tell my mother: “See, I told you, do you believe now? I became so self-righteous about my success that I must have been very difficult to live with. However I saved myself from future years of self-inflicted agony. Now I can give thanks to my “bad” tonsils for the early warning signals that they gave me.

But I also want to thank the M.D. whose name I cannot remember, for his uninformed decision about my tonsils. Had he read something else besides the medical journals he could have suggested something else. I say thank him, because he gave me the opportunity to challenge his decision and exert my power. At an early age I realized that I had to get involved with my own healing.